Get Trashed? At a Car Boot Disco? I'm feeling vInspired!

A couple of weeks ago I went to a wonderfully unique event, something I've been meaning to share with you ever since... Talented customisers, coupled with a real life swap shop, entwined with a worthy environmental cause, presented in the coolest of settings with an enviable soundtrack! The stuff of dreams...

Here's the science bit, to explain the backdrop... taken from vInspired's website; "10,000 items of clothing are thrown away every 5 minutes. That’s 2 billion items of clothing wasted worldwide every year. vInspired’s Get Trashed campaign is tackling the growing throwaway culture in the UK. Join our campaign to waste less. Help save 10,000 items of clothing from landfill. Get trashed launches with Car Boot Disco at Ministry of Sound, mixing music, fashion and fun, we’re doing our bit to save the planet." 

It's at times like these I feel SO lucky to live in London, to have so many incredible events on offer, on my doorstep, for free... but this isn't just for Londoners. NO! Read on, and I'll tell you how this includes YOU, wherever you may be...

And the blog post soundtrack for today? Only a few months before Ministry of Sound opened, a bouncy house track topped the charts all over the world (even though it only got to number 2 in the UK...) - I think it also sums ups this event to perfection, so listening to  Deee-Lite's Groove is in the Heart will definitely put you in the right mood! :D  

Setting the Scene...

vInspired are a charity dedicated to matching up young people with volunteering opportunities, inspiring them to take an interest in their own communities, and the world at large. In fact, to get a real grip on what it is vInspired do - and how inspiring they are, watch this video! When you then take into account what their Get Trashed campaign is aspiring to achieve; to change our fast fashion habits - in favour of up-cycling, creative endeavour, and swap shops - you can see why this is all right up my street!

If you're a stranger to London - the Ministry of Sound has been around for over two decades, and - in spite of its age - has managed to hold on to it's reputation as one of the best nightclubs in the world, recently ranked seventh in the 2013 DJ Magazine Top 100 Clubs poll... In other words, in terms of being a suitable venue for an event so closely associated with what's hot in popular culture right now - it's perfect! 

And so to the day itself...

Upstairs, People of Print were busy working away, creating works of art on t-shirts and jumpers. Amazingly, the whole process of adding unique designs with their industrial screen print press took only minutes! 

Obviously this technique isn't something you'd do at home, requiring both machinery and expertise - this being just one arm of the thriving design company, which works as a creative collaboration with other similarly talented people... See how they went about creating effective geometric graphics, by using layer upon layer of screen printing on their t-shirt carousel, here...! The founder of People of Print, Marcroy Smith, is a great example of a young ambitious creative entrepreneur. His passion for what he does - and the education and training he undertook to get to where he is today - was reflective of the calibre of creative talent that was on hand that day... 

Downstairs, another customising station from Use It Up Wear It Out provided various refashioning options for the keen fashionista... with ideas to take home, to inspire reinventions on a low budget, using up-cycled textiles, jewellery and haberdashery. This was the perfect setting for the company that is well-versed in delivering polished DIY workshops on up-cycling clothing - you may have seen them on Channel Five's The Wright Stuff, telling you how to Pimp Up Your Shades? If you didn't, you likely will hear of them again soon, somewhere just as high profile!
The mood board caught my eye, as that's something I'm using more and more with my projects as time goes by; it really is a great way of achieving your desired look - having a visual delight as a creative stimulant! Ooh, listen to me... I sound all artistic!

...And sew, through to another room, and more inspiration... 

Spanglewear started out about three and a half years ago, originally on the festival scene, giving people funky make-overs with make-up and festival fancy dress, before taking their photos... this experience lead to the fashion brand developing, as it became clear how popular Bonny's designs and customising skills were. It's now possible to spot Bonny's sequin-encrusted caps on the likes of Cara Delevingne... it's a definite success story! Just watching these guys at work made me want to run home and stick feathers on... well anything, really! 

Moving to the other side of the same room, I met... The Urbanist - a talented fella, with an eye for artwork, and a very steady hand for airbrushing. He cut his artistic teeth on the streets of London with his love of graffiti... to say he made his 'underground' talent pay off, is putting it lightly... Starting out with murals, he moved onto customising footwear for Timberland, and he's now a regular at MTV - airbrushing the likes of dancers, and artists, like Nelly Furtado and Wyclef Jean! If I had to choose just ONE guy that day who I would put money on being able to inspire an errant youth from a life of crime - then this guy is the man..! Sometimes all you need is someone to tell you, at an early age, that you can turn your overlooked, otherwise-frowned-upon talents, into a career...

One Man's Trash is Another Man's Treasure...

The Swap Shop area was just amazing... a dance floor, with disco lights and Kiss DJ's providing the backdrop, setting the scene to 'High Cool'. Rail upon rail of second hand clothing (brought in by anyone attending the event) stood waiting to be inspected and/or swapped, I made a beeline for Jess Chen, over from Australia (with blue hair in pic) - she knew what she was going for, swooping in on a sequined skirt, and similar one-off pieces to match her artistic style...

Evidently, this is not the kind of place I frequent often (given that I've never been one of the cool kids!), and I think that was what struck me most about the whole day - it WAS cool... that might sound like I'm surprised; but it's the equivalent of school choirs getting the Glee treatment! Seamstressers and crafters can quite often get the 'homely' tag, expected to stay by the crackling fire with their cat - making Christmas gifts for their entire family from scraps of felt. WHAT? OK, yes, I might be making things for my family made from felt - but you're missing the point! For just one day, I was made to feel like a Trekker (*Trekkie is the derogatory term, I'm told) walking proudly into a Star Trek convention, to be met by hundreds of other proud Trekkers, wearing their Trekker hearts on their sleeves.

Obviously I'm a fan of customising and up-cycling - that's what most of this blog is about! But if you're still warming to that idea - and you just feel like coming out of the closet to swap something you once loved for someone else's garments, then consider setting up your own Car Boot Disco! You can download the Toolkit, and find out how to organise your own, from VInspired's website, here!! And if you're a parent, a teenager, or ANYONE of any age interested in preserving your world, as you know it, why not try supporting an event like this the next time you see it advertised..? Even a retweet can show support :D

  • If you're new to this Blog, and you like what you've seen - why not check out my other piece on little-known jewel-in-the-London-crown, Eel Pie Island - read up on volunteering opportunities with Contact The Elderly, or find out how to make fingerless gloves from sleeves cut from a dress..!
  • If you're an old-timer, then here's what to expect this month (if I get my arse into gear!!) - a few dresses, refashioned from drab to flab in just a couple of easy steps! Hopefully there'll be something you'll love enough to use on your own Christmas party outfit... that's my intention anyway, to inspire and inform just as vInspired's Get Trashed event did for me :)
And don't forget, please leave any comments below - or ask me if you have any questions, always lovely to hear from you!!


  1. That looks pretty inspirational; I know when I go places (like that, but different - yeah - I'm a bit more nerd convention than crafty fingers) as you go around you get those feelings of ideas sparking away and inspiration hitting - so many possibilities!

    Also, the amount of talent and like-minded people there must be an amazing environment to pass through and pick up hints and tips and just have the influence there and so on.

    Anyway, have a really good weekend there. Take care of yourself there!
    (Can't believe you weren't ever one of the cool kids though)


    1. You know...I think one of the things I've enjoyed most about getting older (!) is being completely unafraid of professing my love for things, even if other people think I'm an oddball :D When you're little, being honest about these things can give you the 'weird kid' tag at school, but now it definitely feels like it's one of my good points - and I feel that goes for lots of people I know... All that's important, in my opinion, is being passionate about SOMETHING. (as long as it's not hurting anyone, obviously!)

      You have a great week too, Neil! :D


Post a Comment

All comments welcomed, it's lovely to hear from you! If there is a slight delay in your words being published here, it's only because they are being moderated first... just to make sure you're not a bot ;) Thank-you!!

Popular Posts